Brazil welcomes USC delegation
Never mind that the country is hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Today the buzz in Brazil is all about USC.
USC President C. L. Max Nikias, his wife, Niki, and a delegation of trustees and deans traveled to São Paulo this week to open the university’s eighth international office and to strengthen partnerships with Brazil’s leaders in government, business, education and research.
The Brazilian media took notice. Many of the country’s top outlets covered news of the USC delegation.
“This has been an extremely productive trip in fostering academic and research collaborations, and we have been so warmly received in Brazil,” Nikias said. “This is an outstanding reception, as we look to strengthen our collaborations with Brazil.”
USC currently has more than 500 alumni living and working in Brazil. And for more than a decade, it has hosted more international students than any other university in the United States, with more than 9,000 international students representing some 115 countries.
Situated in the Vila Olímpia district of São Paulo, the new USC office will support the recruitment of outstanding students and the delivery of student-learning programs in Brazil for USC students while promoting research collaborations between researchers from USC and throughout Brazil. USC also has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mumbai, India, Seoul, South Korea, Shanghai and Taipei, Taiwan.
The USC delegation was received in the Governor’s Palace by a number of officials from the state of São Paulo, including Edson Aparecido, chief secretary of the government of São Paulo, Edmur Mesquita, secretary of Metropolitan Development, and Renato Pires de Carvalho Viegas, president of Emplaza, a company that works with the government of São Paulo on economic development.
“We are proud of our partnership with USC and hope that together we can bring a better future to the people of Brazil,” Mesquita said during the ceremony.
Brazil has emerged as the world’s sixth largest economy, and São Paulo is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.
USC is among a small number of prestigious U.S. universities with official ties to Brazil, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard and Columbia universities.
“As Brazil grows in importance on the world stage, USC sees tremendous opportunities for academic partnerships as well as recruitment of some of the most qualified and promising Brazilian students,” said Anthony Bailey, vice provost for global initiatives at USC.
The delegation also met with University of São Paulo President João Grandino Rodas.
During the whirlwind four-day trip that included meetings in Rio de Janeiro, much was accomplished, including:
• USC delegates met with Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, scientific director of the São Paulo Research Foundation, and jointly launched the second call for research proposals.
• The USC Price School of Public Policy and the Metropolitan Development secretary of the state of São Paulo signed a memorandum of understanding and agreed to increase collaborations on land use, transportation planning, housing, economic development and infrastructure.
• The Nikiases hosted a luncheon reception and official opening of USC’s new international office in São Paulo, attended by more than 100 alumni, parents and friends of the university.
• The University of São Paulo signed a letter of intent to join the USC-led iPodia Alliance, an international consortium initiated by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering that uses high-bandwidth connectivity to create a borderless global classroom for teachers and learners at leading higher education institutions. This marks the first Latin American participation in iPodia.
• The delegation was hosted at the home of Roberto Irineu Marinho, head of the Globo Group, the largest media company in Latin America.
“Brazil and Southern California display some intriguing parallels at this moment in history,” Nikias said. “Both are rich in history and culture and diversity. Both serve as laboratories of the human societies of the future, and both have major roles to play in the years ahead.”
In addition to the Nikiases and Bailey, the delegation included the USC Marshall School of Business Dean James G. Ellis; USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott; USC School of Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth M. Daley; USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos; and Al Checcio, senior vice president for university advancement. Dennis Cornell, USC chief of staff, and Brenda Maceo, vice president of public relations and marketing, also were in attendance. Trustees in the delegation included Frank H. Cruz, Edward P. Roski Jr., and his wife, Gayle, David H. Dornsife, and his wife, Dana, and John Mork, and his wife, Julie.
The trip to Brazil expanded upon USC’s existing partnerships in the country with the Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil’s top private university, and the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, which provides full scholarships to high-achieving Brazilian undergraduate students for up to one year of study at USC.
View photos from the USC Brazil visit below